Demand respect ... a bare minimum
The Montreal branch of SITT-IWW has, for a few years now, a campaign of its own and unique, launched on 8 mars 2018 on the International Day of Women's Rights.
Its title is : ‘Claim Your Respect’.
Part on the idea of de-macho-izing the trade union environment and reclaiming the struggles union, some union members decided to mount a campaign who looks like him : end oppressions in the workplace, than it's sexism, harassment, homophobia, racism or even transphobia.
A Claim Your Respect, How's it going ?
It begins with an employee who contacts SITT-IWW to help them with a problematic in his workplace. Then a switch-on is triggered either meet the person (s), discuss and make a game plan. This campaign aims to collectivize a problem because the victims are often isolated and in distress (while, most of the time, many other, on the same work floor, live the same reality).
Each campaign and every reality is different.
A campaign story victorious
I will talk here about my experience of a campaign, as as an external organizer of this campaign. SITT-IWW is not a union of service but a solidarity union : empowerer the workers and workers under our mantra : every worker is a union organizer.
We have been approached by employees, Max * and Camille *, because they and some of their colleagues were living under harassment, bullying, you racism, homophobia and so many other horrors, And this, by their boss. It had to stop !
of our first meeting, Max and Camille had already succeeded in bringing together the 3/4
of their colleagues around a table.
It was unreal for me to talk about how we unite our colleagues ...
Wow, the work was already done ! What a great meeting but at the same time with a bittersweet taste, everyone was united because everyone had been abused by the same boss, some men present, had not lived the thing but were in solidarity with their colleagues.
Together, we are stronger, exactly !
All these people were talking about the horrors done by their boss and had already decided to send a letter to their Board of Directors (C.A.), And this, in bypassing their problematic boss / manager. The hierarchy is sometimes in itself problematic, their boss being their only link with the C.A.
We had to find the email addresses of the C.A., make a clear list of requests while enumerating the charges, keep logbooks for evidence, plan future meetings but above all, plan what we were going to do following the various possible responses of the C.A..
What was our real lever ? Here it was to achieve the public image of the body.
We started with this so-called letter, signed by the 3/4 from the shop, all in keeping in mind that ultimately, publicly, the problem could come out, our only real lever before collective resignations by example. The idea being to have the big end of the stick and be able to claim a healthy work environment ! Le strict minimum !
A healthy work environment ... of course it is legitimate ! It's a right that is so not easily accessible and the advice of Éducaloi, for example, are ridiculous when you live in a problematic situation. Direct action and solidarity are the key to rapid and efficient gains.
The letter was sent, without forgetting to give a response time so that it does not do not fall into the cracks of the floor. The letter was received and the boss problematic was banned from the board meeting. next. It was a small victory already in itself !
The after ? The C.A. asked to meet people 1-to-1 and sign a confidentiality letter. The 2 requests were refused by the group. Our strength is solidarity and we learned from the gang that this same boss had already fired for the same issues elsewhere ... and under cover of confidentiality, so no one could really know ! It's indecent to put problematic people back in a position of power again and again and this, under the hat of the confidential shutter and therefore in all connivance ... ark ! Rather than change and educate, that's it, shovel the problem in the neighbor's yard putting on blinders ! Neunon !
Finally, meetings were made, in Group, applications have been accepted including : fire the boss and have a voice, an employee representative, on the IT.
Written so, it seems easy ... it wasn't. It was quite a challenge emotional, quite a challenge to keep, During months, supportive people between them and them without dismantling despite the strategies put in place by the patronage. But what a great victory to get rid of an oppressor (who despite education efforts did not change) and to be able to finally have the chance to express workers' point of view to the most high authority of the company !
succeeded despite the ups and downs, reluctance, errors and
learning, through all these little cumulative victories !
Boss viré, healthy workplace !
The culture of silence must end.
Claim Your Respect this is the reappropriation of his environment work and one more step towards fairness and respect, finally, around the normality.
well done to them and them ! Solidarity !